Bill Clinton has found a new definition for political "spin."
Forget rubber chicken dinners and boring ballroom events. Thursday night, Clinton showed up at Soul Cycle, a new club in New York's tony upper west side neighborhood, for a spinning class turned fundraiser for his wife's campaign for the White House.
About 45 people (the majority of them women) paid $2300 for the chance to sit on a stationary bike and meet the former president of the United States.
"He sort of wandered through the bikes in our small studio," said owner Julie Rice, "brushing up against handlebars and greeted everyone personally, which I think was one of the main reasons that this was so special. It was such a small setting."
Clinton told stories and took questions for more than half an hour. Billed as an opportunity to talk about health care, most of the discussion centered on Hillary Clinton's proposals to expand coverage and the importance of preventative care and exercise.
There were questions on Iraq. And one person asked why Hillary Clinton always seems so "stiff". (For the record, Bill Clinton said Hillary is not stiff, but she sometimes tightens up when she's responding to criticism.)
"People love him. People love him more than Hillary," said one woman attending the function. "Are you kidding? They are nuts over him. He's like our last sexy president before JFK, right?"
No Spandex for the Former Leader of the Free World
Spinning classes at Soul Cycle normally cost about $25. But for this special class spinners paid $2300 a piece and they never even got to see Clinton sweat. He showed up in a suit and told the class he had already worked out earlier in the day.
They weren't disappointed. Asked if they would've liked to have seen President Clinton on a bike, two donors giggled: "No, definitely not."
The event was the brainchild of Congresswoman's Nita Lowey's daughter-in-law. Rep. Lowey (D-N.Y.) said it was far more interesting than the normal dinner and cocktail hour fundraisers she usually attends.
"I think if people are writing these big checks to the Hillary Clinton campaign then to me it is so much more meaningful if it is focused on Hillary Clinton's message of health care, nutrition, fitness, prevention."
Clinton left just as the class was gearing up. Blaring over the soundsystem: the song "I wish I knew (how it would feel to be free)", by Nina Simone.
Clinton told them to turn it up. Then he rushed off to another fundraiser.